Rare fossil of sea reptile found on Alaska beach
Thalattosaurs (meaning “ocean lizards”) are a group of prehistoric marine reptiles which lived during the mid-late Triassic Period. Some species of thalattosaur grew to over 4 meters (13 feet) in length, including a long, flattened tail used in underwater propulsion. Thalattosaur fossils have been found in California, Oregon, Nevada, and British Columbia. They are also present in Europe, with remains having been found from Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. More recently, thalattosaur fossils have been found in China. Wikipedia ©© Ghedoghedo / Wikimedia
Alaska scientists have discovered the fossil of a rare, prehistoric marine reptile that is likely the most complete remnant of the creature ever found in North America.
The nearly complete fossilized skeleton, found during an extreme low tide along the shore of the Tongass National Forest, is of a thalattosaur, a long-tailed sea creature that plied warm, shallow waters in the early days of dinosaurs and became extinct at the end of the Triassic period some 200 million years ago…